Prev Thread Prev Thread   Next Thread Next Thread
 My ferrets are getting skinny
Author Message
myfurryferrets

  • Total Posts : 5
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/13/2009
  • Status: offline
My ferrets are getting skinny - Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:01 PM
Hi,
I'm new here and with ferrets. I'v had my ferrets for 6 months and when I got them they where nice and fat. The owners before fed them cat food so I continued feeding then cat food. Now they are getting real skinny, They are still very active and playfull, but are as skinny as a bone. The only thing I can think of is they need dewormed.
Thanks,
~Angela
Nissaj01

  • Total Posts : 2604
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2007
  • Location: New York
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:33 PM
Ferrets do thin out as they mature.  Also, it's getting to be spring so many ferrets will start to lose their winter chub.

Ferrets are not supposed to eat cat food.  Ferrets eat ferret food.  Cat food does not have the best ingredients in it or the right amount of protein in it for a ferret to maintain a healthy weight.  A lot of the food in cat food ferrets can't even digest because ferrets are obligate carnivors and cat food is filled with grains and veggies.  I would highly suggest a transition from cat food to a good quality ferret food (8 in 1 ULTIMATE, Totally Ferret, Zupreem or EVO Ferret Food).  Not only will your ferrets be getting better food, but they will feel better and have a longer healthier life.  All ferret food can be purchased at a petstore in the ferret section.

Here is a link to some good quality foods.

http://www.ferret.com/ferret-food/

Unless you have other animals in your house that you know have worms, then I doubt they need to be dewormed.  You would be able to see the worms in their litter box when you change it too.

Try making them some duck soup, it's a good quality supplement and helps ferrets put on some weight and it's good for them.  To make mine, I use Uncle Jims Duck Soup (can be bought at ferrret.com or the petstore), some turkey baby food, heavy whipping cream, and some warm water, mix it all up and serve.  I normally use about a tablespoon of baby food, a table spoon for the duck soup and just enough heavy cream to make it soupy and then I add the warm water so it's a bit thinner.  If they've never had duck soup before it may take them a while to get used to eating it as ferrets are picky eaters.  All you have to do is put some on their nose/lips and so they'll lick it off and they'll try it.  Or put some ferretone on the top of the soup so they'll try it. 
<message edited by Nissaj01 on Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:38 PM>
 
"You know you're a Respiratory Therapist when.."
RIP Fisher, Big Fatty, & Spaz <3 Miss you so much*8-10-11, 2-5-2011 & 8/26/10*&l
ACWN

  • Total Posts : 1702
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/3/2009
  • Location: El Paso
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Saturday, February 14, 2009 1:49 PM
I may not have hands on fert experience yet, but I have done my research and I agree with Nissa. There are high quality cat foods (like EVO Feline or Orijen) that are OKAY for ferrets, but they need ferret food mixed in with it to make sure the ferrets get everything they need.


A ferret's digestive tract is MUCH shorter then a cat's or a dog's. Cat food is made to break down in a certain amount of time, so the cat gets everything it needs from the food. As a result, a ferret barely gets anything out of the food because they take about half the amount of time to digest. Ferret's burn FAT for energy, not carbohydrates, which is why they dont do good on grains and veggies. GOOD quality ferret food has plenty of fat and protein.

You need at LEAST 2 or 3 foods for your fert, to ensure they dont get hooked on one brand because if that brand goes out of business or you run out and where you get it doesnt have any in stock, then you dont have to worry about them NOT eating. Ferrets are picky eaters and it takes a great deal of time and patience to switch them to another food.

Marshall's ferret food is also not really recommended as it has a high content of corn and fish. Fish is okay for ferrets, but too much isnt.


A lot of people will also suggest the soup, so give that a try. Dont give them too much though, sometimes there is too much of a good thing.
<message edited by ACWN on Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:06 PM>
myfurryferrets

  • Total Posts : 5
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/13/2009
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:17 PM
Thanks so much everyone, I'm glad you told me. The poor little critters are so skinny. I was getting worried about them. I will try the duck soup, it sound good for them. I knew they needed something. I don't think they have worms then, the only other thing we have in our house is cats. I'm really gratefull for that advice, Maybe our farmstore will order some ferret food in so I can just go over there to get some. I think I will order some first though. Thanks again and again for everything!
~Angela
isushiu

  • Total Posts : 1718
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/15/2009
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:16 PM
It wouldn't hurt to take your fur kids in for a vet check-up as just like cats and dogs they need a yearly review.  You might want to pick up a ferret book--this forum likes Ferret's for Dummies 2nd edition as it has the most up to day info.  There may be othere things you are feeding (like treats) that they shouldn't have also or little tips that would make your "ferrenting" a little easier and fufilling.  Good luck!

banner by ACWN
myfurryferrets

  • Total Posts : 5
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/13/2009
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:13 PM
Thanks allot, I haven't fed them any treats, they are too picky, they won't eat anything except their cat food.
Thanks,
~Angela
ACWN

  • Total Posts : 1702
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/3/2009
  • Location: El Paso
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:00 AM
Its going to take time. You have to do it in stages. Do like a 75-25 mix of cat food to ferret food and gradually increase it over time. Try mixing it with something like a duck soup gravy - if they like duck soup - to appeal to them a bit more.
Schmoopac

  • Total Posts : 315
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/13/2009
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:48 AM
I started to get concerned at first when I noticed that Buddy looked thin, then I realized he was healthy and he looks thinner than normal because he is running around next to my fatso Rosco. I still give my guys a little duk soup sprinkled on their food and they really seem to dig it. If you have problems getting them to even try the duk soup do what I did and put a couple drops of ferretone on it, if they are like my two boys then they will go for it... my girl Molly wont touch the stuff, for some reason the smell makes her sneaze and she will go crawl under a blanket and hide LOL. 

unclejoe

  • Total Posts : 6471
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 12/11/2008
  • Location: Florida
  • Status: online
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Sunday, February 15, 2009 5:19 PM
don't bother with the walmart premium ferret food.  the cat food might even be better for them



isushiu

  • Total Posts : 1718
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/15/2009
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:40 PM
i saw that box of 8-1a at Walmart and was excited until I read the ingredients, then I got disgusted. I have fed my buds 8-1 ult. Crunchy forever and may change... I know that was rather off topic but that ferret food at Walmart--8-1 shouldbe ashamed in my opinion.

banner by ACWN
WienerCat

  • Total Posts : 2809
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/1/2008
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Monday, February 16, 2009 12:35 PM

ORIGINAL: myfurryferrets

Thanks so much everyone, I'm glad you told me. The poor little critters are so skinny. I was getting worried about them. I will try the duck soup, it sound good for them. I knew they needed something. I don't think they have worms then, the only other thing we have in our house is cats. I'm really gratefull for that advice, Maybe our farmstore will order some ferret food in so I can just go over there to get some. I think I will order some first though. Thanks again and again for everything!
~Angela


besides a check up at the vet, you can also do this:

mix duk soup with gerber stage 2 baby food (only the meat ones NO VEGGIES), and some warm water.  The baby food has meat fats in it too and that will also make them feel full and you can even mix the baby food with EVO ferret food or zupreeem.

When they're fed cat food, there's such high fat and sugar in it, it gave them the illusion of being fat, but they were not healthy.  They will bulk back up but it will take TIME.



Buffmuffin

  • Total Posts : 686
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/23/2009
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Monday, February 16, 2009 5:06 PM
In my experience, if your ferts are preferential towards a kibble, particularly a cat food, which has a lot of "flavor" ingredients added to make it palatable, (since it is so nutritionally incomplete domestic pets wont eat it without enticement), your critters will most likely reject any radical changes to their staple, such as a first time offering of duck soup.

I would immediately change to a premium ferret kibble, and if it were me, although a gradual swap is usually recommended, i would go cold turkey. You may have to buy an expensive bag of really high quality food with good taste to get them to accept the change happily the first time, after that you can slowly transition them to any permanent brand you choose.

After a week on the new kibble, i would begin to wet the dry down with some ferret-tone and swirl it around in the bowl so that the amount coats the food evenly and doesnt modify the flavor too much...

Once they get used to that change, you may want to profer them some raw items... as supplimental. My regular treats are heavy whipping cream, (high fat), mixed with a small amount of pro-biotic acidophilus milk, scrambled eggs, pureed raw catfish, pureed chicken liver.

They are very particular, i can usually only get 1 or 2 of the 4 to eat any given treat, the rest reject it, but between them, they all get somthing... all except my male.. who honest to god needs it the most as he has endocrine disease >.< All he wants is his kibble, but at least he gets the ferret-tone with it.
<message edited by Buffmuffin on Monday, February 16, 2009 5:07 PM>
WeLoveOurWeasels

  • Total Posts : 151
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 11/12/2008
  • Status: offline
RE: My ferrets are getting skinny - Monday, February 16, 2009 6:25 PM
To change the food (you should change to at least 2 high quality foods grain free preferably)
 
Mix in equal parts the new food and put it in a container then follow this method to switch
 
Week one 25% new food 75% old food
Week two 50% new food 50% old food
Week three 75% new food 25% old food
Week four 100% new food no more old food
 
Also here are some other things you can give your fert to help her put on weight. I am currently using KMR and it is really working for my skinny girl Loki. I am also getting some Pingford's Porridge in the mail this week and if she likes it I will get her some more. Also if she does not like it I can just sneak it into soup.
 
You can give 1 teaspoon a day of organic heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons (1 tablespoon powder 2 tablespoons water) kitten milk replacer twice a day

Pingford's porridge
http://www.pingfordsporridge.com/

Carnivore care
http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/vets/products/carnivore_care

Totally Ferret Complete Care for Ferrets
http://www.performancefoodsinc.net/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=34

I have also heard of goats milk being OK to give in small bits.
~Jessica~


Jump to:

Current active users
There are 0 members and 1 guests.
Icon Legend and Permission
  • New Messages
  • No New Messages
  • Hot Topic w/ New Messages
  • Hot Topic w/o New Messages
  • Locked w/ New Messages
  • Locked w/o New Messages
  • Read Message
  • Post New Thread
  • Reply to message
  • Post New Poll
  • Submit Vote
  • Post reward post
  • Delete my own posts
  • Delete my own threads
  • Rate post

© 2000-2008 ASPPlayground.NET Forum Version 3.1.5